If you are a pet owner, then you know the importance of keeping your pet flea and tick free. Not only are they a harmful nuisance to your beloved fur baby, they can plague you and even make you severely ill. Most places only need to worry about these pests during the late spring and summer seasons. Melbourne, Florida is NOT one of those places. Florida is known for its hot and humid weather pretty much all year round. Here are some helpful tips to keep you and your four-legged family member flea and tick free.
Flea and Tick Identification
The most common sign of fleas is persistent scratching on your pet. You may even be able to see a tiny dark colored spot trying to seek shelter in a hidden fold of skin. They can most easily be seen on the belly, behind the ears and around the neck. Ticks are larger and much slower. They also aren’t going to give themselves away by persistent scratching. As they gorge, they will become larger and larger until they look like a mole.
Aside from the adult stages most people are familiar with, which only makes up of around 5% of the total population, fleas and ticks have life cycles. Unless the life cycle of these parasites is broken, the infestation will return.
The Life Cycle
They both start from eggs. Flea eggs look almost like coffee grounds. They are gritty and can be laid in the fur of your pet and the fibers of your carpet. The average flea can lay 1050 eggs within a 21 day period. Are you itchy yet?
Tick eggs are laid on the ground outside, thousands at a time. Each stage of the tick requires a blood gorging before they fall off the host and back down to the ground and molt again. It is important for the exterminator to treat the surrounding area for all stages of these blood sucking parasites. At the same time, your pets need to receive proper treatment.
Ways to Prevent an Infestation
Fleas and ticks can spread deadly diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme disease and harmful bacteria. Keeping your pets treated is the best way to prevent an infestation along with these routine measures:
* Vacuum often
* Keep your lawn mowed regularly
* Wash your pet’s bed periodically in hot water
* Keep your trash in closed bins to prevent wildlife that carry these pests
* Check your dogs before letting them in the house
If you suspect a flea or tick problem, call your pest control servicer immediately. The cost of treatment is worth avoiding the hospital bills from getting sick or the grief of losing your pet from a preventable disease.